A Step in the Right Direction: Ohio House Votes to Remove the “Pink Tax”

Earlier this week, on December 5, the Ohio House voted to remove the state’s “pink tax.” This move would insure that the state’s sales tax would no longer be applied in the sale of tampons, sanitary pads, and other feminine hygiene products. The exemption of the “pink tax” is part of a larger bill that aims to change the ways in which small businesses pay their sales tax revenue back to the state. The bill passed 84-1 in the House, with Representative Tom Brinkman as the only opponent to the new policy.

According to a study conducted by the state government, it is estimated that $78.6 million will be spent on feminine hygiene products in Ohio this year. On top of that, according to an article written by Jessica Kane for HuffPost, the average woman will spend over $1,700 on tampons in her lifetime and according to Jeremy Pelzer for Cleveland.com, $632 of that $1,700 will be spent on the state’s sales tax at its current rate of 5.75 percent. Supporters of the exemption of this “pink tax” argue that women are at a financial disadvantage to men because we need to spend money on hygiene products that men do not. And this can be seen throughout the United States.

Typically, the average woman will have her period from the age of 13 until the age of 51. If you do the math, the average woman will endures about 456 periods over this 38 year time frame. In other words,  a woman will spend about 2,280 days with her period, which equals approximately 6.25 years. In an article published by HuffPost entitled, “Here’s How Much A Woman’s Period Will Cost Her Over a Lifetime,” it is estimated that the total cost of a woman’s period will come out around $18,171. That being said, it’s not hard to imagine that there are thousands of women across the country and even across the world that cannot afford that sum.

Many women have to go without feminine hygiene products simply because they cannot afford the cost. Which is why getting rid of this “pink tax” is so important. Women should not be penalized for something that they cannot control and no woman should have to go without the necessary products they need every month. So for the women of Ohio, the exemption of the “pink tax” has been a long time coming and a step in the right direction for providing justice and equality for women.